How did I get here?
(Las Vegas, NV)
I was born and raised in Los Angeles. My dad was a star on a hit TV show from the 70′s/80′s. My mom was an exotic dancer (reformed from Catholic School I guess). I was raised by a single mom.. As is everyone else is LA I was a child actress. I looked just like Shirley Temple when I was little and worked a lot landing a couple of movies and commercials. I was always in the gifted program in school, but I had debilitating social anxieties. I only attended 2 days of high school before transferring to a very very small private school to avoid the crowds and debauchery of peer groups.
The funny thing about my story and what still really surprises me is that I have lived on both sides of the addiction fence. My sister got addicted to speed when I was 12. The pain I encountered is indescribable. My sister is 7 years my senior, yet I always looked up to her. She was my idol, my star. I would cry myself to sleep most nights when she’d get lost in the frenzy of her addiction and not come home for weeks on end. Once asleep, my nightmares grew increasingly strong; she’d be dead in her car on the side of the road. I would beg her to stop. I never understood how she could torment my family the way she did. Didn’t she have a choice in the matter? Could she see how this was killing my mom, my brother, me?
I finally understood at the age of 22, once I hopped the fence and joined my sister. Before then, I was the poster child of sobriety. I was always the designated driver. Deathly afraid of alcohol and drugs. I didn’t take a drink until I was almost 18. It felt kind of nice. I liked the warmth I felt and the way my inhibitions became erased. I never really cared for booze tho. I was always just a social drinker. Then, I found pain killers at the age of 20. Where had these been my whole life? First pill, I fell in love. Those too started out benignly.
Only on Sundays with girlfriends. Then I started getting migraines and was diagnosed with scoliosis.. and doctor’s were dolling me out large, large prescriptions for anything I wanted. I had an excuse. I started taking daily and before I knew it I was popping 20-30 vicodin a day. It didn’t help that I entered a relationship with a very troubled, addicted soul. When I met him I was still the Sunday pill taker, occasional boozer. Slowly but surely he showed me his demons and assisted in bringing mine out with his (I don’t blame him at all.. I’ve made ALL of my own choices).
My sister was still using. I had amputated my connection to her. I couldn’t ache anymore. I just let her go and loved her from afar. Never hopeful, always expecting the worst. The one drug I swore I would never touch was meth. It disgusted me! One night my boyfriend had some and pressured me to try. I didn’t love it.. I didn’t think about it again for 6 months until a close friend of mine was just doing it on the weekends.. I thought what the heck? This will never become fulltime. Then one day in the summer of 2004, my sister called me, she needed my help. Her boyfriend had just been taken away to prison for 10 years and she was in shambles. My sister, my idol my all needed me? I didn’t hesitate. It happened to be on one of those meth weekends.
She had me meet her at the boyfrineds.. what a disgusting place. Stereo equipment and items that had been bartered to her dealer boyfriend stacked floor to ceiling. There wasn’t even a place to sit. The place wreaked of sweat and hopeless dreams. How could my sister live like this? She seemed quite content and had managed to carve out a seat for herself among the filth. Little did I know by summer’s end I too would carve out a seat and join the ranks of all hopeless tweakers who begged to enter, if only for a hit.
It was the perfect storm I suppose. I was winding down on that verbally abusive, drug abusive relationship I was in. I was going to college and maintaining a 3.75 gpa, but found myself lost and wondering which direction I wanted to take in life. It was summer after all, I wasn’t going to keep up this sharade for long.. right? I don’t know if subconsciously I was trying to get closer to her.. We did become closer than ever.. but by summer’s end were arch enemies. Her boyfriend’s best friend was asked to come over and check on us and make sure we were doing OK. He ended up wooing me over. God knows why? I had only ever been with 2 guys before him and I was seriously in love with each of them.
He always wanted to keep our relationship private. “Your sister will kill me” he always said. Well, the night after I was intimate with him, he was intimate with my sister. It wasn’t her fault. She didn’t know until I told her after the fact that he had been seeing me behind her back all summer. Instead of manning up, he lied and said I was psychotic and that we were
never together; she believed him. She 86′d me from the palace of tweakville… she claims that she wanted me to get sober. Yeah, like that was gonna happen? Instead a sheltered little girl from Suburbia was left to her own devices.I had never bought speed or hung with a circle before. Just my sister and the guy who two-timed us. Boy, what an ugly world.
I ended up being date raped, getting into 3 car accidents in one month, selling my ass, taking residence with a sociopathic, porn star, pimp/prostitute who stole all my money and turned me out. I was not prepared for that world I entered. Ugly is an understatement.
For 2.5 years I chased my addiction on the streets. Doing what I could to survive in LA of all places. New Years eve 2006 was when I hit my first rock bottom. I literally slept on the streets in the coldest night of the year. It probably was a god send because I took the first plane out to Las Vegas to live with my mom. I white knuckled it for 3 years in regards to the speed. Now the pills were another battle, but soon I got off those too a year after I got to Vegas… Before I got off the pills and after.. I became a solid citizen, I worked full-time, I was closer than ever with my family and my friends from childhood.. Not one slip up with speed, not a thought.
I heard a term recently that’s used in AA that I love – Don’t put yourself in slippery situations, if you don’t want to fall (or something to that affect). Well, last year, that’s exactly what I did. I was working for a company that was downsizing and they hired me on to pick up the pieces. I was a wreck. working 12 hour days, dealing with an asshole for a boss. I decided to take a vacation to see an old friend. I met him in the druggie world in LA.. but we always seemed to have this bond that went far beyond drugs and even during times of sobriety we would hang out and have good clean fun. This time was different.
I got to the airport. We got to the car. He said “I have this fire speed”. I told him he was nuts I was never touching the stuff again. I went to sleep that night and tossed and turned.. “Maybe I could do it just this weekend?” ”No one will know.” ”I can’t even get it in Vegas if I wanted to”, I thought.. I woke up at 6am that morning. Met him in his studio (he’s a musician) “OK… Lemme do a line of that.. Just promise me you won’t let me take any home and I have to sleep everynight I’m here” .. Boy, the rational of the addict.
I came back to Vegas.. with just enough on me to get me through my work week. After the comedown. I took a sigh of relief. I’m glad that’s over. Well, it wasn’t. And, it turned out I did know someone who got high. I was laid off. I had a decent unemployment paycheck and I was off to the races.. again.. This time wasn’t as bad.. but I did manage to get arrested once with drugs on me.. I just completed my program for the courts.. I slipped back into pain killers for a few months, I did dabble in prostitution again, I did lie and cheat and steal from my family.. I made friends with people that were like vampires. They wanted to suck me dry for all my energy and my money – I let them.
I just turned 30 in January. Months before that I kept telling myself “OK – when you’re 30 enough is enough.. you have to quit”.. 30 came and went. Not a thought. It was a Thursday night, Feb 8th I had just gotten my UI money. I spent it all in one night on drugs and a poker machine that made me her bitch. I got to my car and fell apart. I couldn’t stop crying. It was my mom’s birthday the day before – All I could hear were her sobs through the phone begging me to get better. I didn’t even see her on her bday.. What was I doing?
I decided enough was enough. I drove to my mom’s.. (I was living with my gma and sister – sister is till using.. I couldn’t stay there) I came through the door at 4 am.. I asked if she’d let me stay with her so I could get better. She agreed. It’s been a little over 2 months. I have been blogging and trying to connect with the reason this all started. I’m thinking of writing a book. It’s such a journey. I have learned so much about the world and people that I don’t think I would’ve learned had I stayed in college.. but what I wouldn’t give to throw the clock back and stay on the right path and go to college. My only hope is that the pain and daily struggle was not in vein. I can’t have wasted my life in la la land on a life without purpose.
PS I don’t blame anyone but myself for where I am today. I am always trying to find reasons for the madness so if it sounds like I’m blaming, I’m really just analyzing.